Giving Thanks

As always, it’s been forever since I’ve posted. Life always seems to get the better of me as I don’t carve out enough time to post religiously. But yesterday, I had one of those AHA moments where I needed to get my thoughts into writing so that I could maybe bless, encourage, or help someone.

For those who are reading this for the first time, I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease since the age of nine. That’s twenty-five LONG years of dealing with this disease. It’s all I’ve ever known. For years, I’ve gone through pain, embarrassment, weight-loss, weight-gain (thanks prednisone), depression, surgery, liquid diets, and a slew of other treatments. Not only does the disease attack the physical but it also puts a toll on one’s mental health. For 25 years, I’ve viewed this disease as my inner demon and something that “hates” my guts. HA! In a sense, I’m kinda right. But I still catch myself saying “my intestines hate me,” giving them this power. I’m not trying to look for sympathy but to be honest, I felt sad for myself. I’ve always wondered WHY? Why do I have this and why would God allow this to happen to me? Well I may never know the real answer to that question. But I do feel that I’m starting to understand and accept it. And I hope/pray that I can start to change my outlook and perspective.

Yesterday, I had a yearly physical and of course in my chart is states that I have Crohn’s disease. Well the medical assistant took my vitals and then took me to the exam room. When we got in the room, she asked if she could ask me a personal question about my Crohn’s disease. Of course, I told her yes. She asked how I was diagnosed. I told her that I was pretty much diagnosed with a colonoscopy and couple of other tests. She then shared with me how she’s been having severe GI problems and was going in for emergency fistula surgery in the next few weeks. She was hoping to have a diagnosis after some additional testing, which would be after her surgery. My heart broke for her and in that moment, I had joy in my disease. I had joy knowing that in my experience, I could help someone else who would be starting their disease journey. I knew that God has allowed me to go through EVERYTHING to help others. I feel that having Crohn’s has made me sympathize and show compassion to those who are going through a similar battle.

Even in the last few days, I’ve been praising Him, for putting people in my life to make me feel not so alone. I now know that God had a plan for me to be part of my husband’s family. My sister-in-law was diagnosed with Crohn’s Colitis about eleven years ago and she’s been such a blessing in my life. Together we have been able to encourage, pray, and sympathize with each other. Jenna- you have been an inspiration. Through all your suffering, your love for God shines bright. Your mental and spiritual strength is something I admire and respect!

In everything, God’s plan is always bigger than I can ever imagine or understand. For now, I’m going to do my best to try and focus on all the good Crohn’s disease has done in my life. I’ll keep praying that He can use me to help and encourage others. To anyone just starting your journey with this ugly disease, know that you are not alone and there are many others that understand what you’re going through.

Until next time…Happy Thanksgiving!





6 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Thank you for sharing your struggle, Erika. You encourage people beyond the Crohn’s community. Your strength through trial and perspective in facing your difficulties is an encouragement to others, no matter what their issue is.

    I will remember to pray for you. Thanks again.

    In everything give thanks.
    God is GOOD all the time!!

    – Deb

  2. We love you Erika and we are praying for you. You are an inspiration to all of us, and the us and will use to comfort others and for His glory. God bless you.

Comments are closed.